Human righted lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to disarm the herdsmen as a way of ending the incessant violent clashes between them and farmers in the country.
Falana made the call in a statement titled: “How to end violent clashes between herdsmen and farmers.”
He said: “With ranches and abattoirs established in a few states, meat would be prepared in large scale and distributed throughout the country and possibly exported.
“Once ranches and abattoirs are established in Nigeria, all controversial anti- grazing laws would become spent while Governor Ayo Fayose would not have any basis to risk the lives of the hunters in Ekiti State by mobilizing and equipping them with local guns to confront AK 47-bearing herdsmen!
“That is what has been done in Botswana which is the largest producer and exporter of meat in Africa. That southern African country of 2.2 million people with a cattle population of over 3 million has successfully stopped violent clashes between farmers and cattle herdsmen.”
Falana regretted that the federal government had all along been giving the impression that the armed herdsmen were nationals of Senegal, Mali, Niger and Libya.
He added: “But whether the herdsmen are Nigerians or foreigners, it is indisputable, as Prof. Biodun Jeyifo has observed, that this is the first time in the history of Nigeria that any armed group has been allowed to possess arms and ammunition and attack law abiding citizens without any challenge from the neo-colonial State.
“Of course, the Buhari regime is right in saying that the herdsmen were not disarmed by previous regimes. But having crushed other armed groups in the country the Buhari administration cannot justify the decision to treat the armed herdsmen like sacred cows.”